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Council of Albany Neighborhood Associations

Meeting Minutes January 3, 2007

Albany Public Library


1)       Introductions


2)       Minutes:

Minutes of the December CANA meeting were approved.


3)       Guest Speakers:


Libraries for the Future – Branch Plan

Rich Peckham, Collins & Scoville Architects



On February 6, voters will be asked to approve borrowing $29 million to completely overhaul Albany ’s neighborhood branch library system.  The total for construction is projected to be $24.5 million and $29.1 million when all fees and costs are included.  The tax impact will be $.47 per $1,000 of assessed value.  The owner of a $100,000 home would pay an additional $47 in taxes per year.


All libraries will have three distinctly designated spaces; one for children, one for young adults; and one for general collections.  Each will have meeting spaces with direct access and exit to the outside of the library buildings so those spaces can be used after the libraries are closed.


bulletNew Scotland Corridor:  8,370 square feet; new building next to firehouse on New Scotland Avenue ; $4 million


Newly constructed facility will include significant green space, street parking only for visitors, 2 floors, meeting space with after-hours access, and parking lot for staff


bulletArbor Hill/West Hill:  11,860 square feet; new building at Henry Johnson Boulevard and First Street $5.7 million


This new facility will be the largest of the branches because it will serve two neighborhoods.  It will have a parking lot but no exit onto Henry Johnson Boulevard , green space and two floors.


bullet Delaware Avenue Corridor:  9,565 square feet; renovation of 331 Delaware Avenue ; $4.7 million


The former Chicorelli Funeral home will be converted into the Delaware library branch.   Green space will be created.  Staff offices will be located on the second floor.


bullet Pine Hills :  9,675 square feet; renovation of second floor of current branch to bring total square feet to 19,105); $4.8 million


The Pine Hills branch is the most used of all neighborhood libraries.  It would be expanded for use of the second floor of the building and better entrances will be designed.


bulletHowe – South End:  11,605 square feet; renovation of current branch with new addition; $5.2 million


This facility was built in 1927 and is the only branch that was designed as a library.  It needs complete renovation (heating and cooling, roof, etc.), better access for the disabled, parking. 



The following questions and issues were addressed:


All facilities are on the CDTA bus routes and will accommodate bike riders and walkers.


Renovated facilities should be complete by June 2008; new facilities by January 2009.


The number of parking spaces at the facilities is well below the number permitted.


Libraries will have sustainable designs and be environmentally friendly.  The issue of crime prevention designs will be addressed when the branch plan is passed.


Bonds for $29.1 million will sold through the Dormitory Authority.


Operating hours will be expanded in all branches.


Plans for Howe will need to be approved by Historic Preservation.



Albany Public Schools Facilities Improvement Plan

Rich Peckham, Collins & Scoville Architects


Work plans for three district schools included in the Albany City School District facilities improvement project-- Arbor Hill Elementary, TOAST, and Giffen—have not been finalized.   A new form of state building aid known as EXCEL (Expanding Children’s Education and Learning) presents a unique opportunity to invest in three buildings is available.  To access the EXCEL aid and traditional state building aid, the district will seek voter approval on February 6 to spend $19 million more than has already been authorized for the exiting facilities plan.  This $19 million will come at no additional cost to city taxpayers.


The district is eligible to receive $7.8 million in EXCEL aid.  There is $13 million remaining from the existing facilities project and traditional state aid will cover an additional $11.2 million. 


Each of the three buildings is outdated and Arbor Hill is deteriorating.  Improvements will be made to the climate control systems, facades, electrical systems, and upgrades to accommodate modern technology.  Each will be painted. 


To date the district has successfully opened nine schools that were either newly constructed or substantially renovated and work on two more schools is underway.  Ribbon cuttings and tours of Pine Hills Elementary and Delaware Community Schools are scheduled for the second week of January.




4)       Committee Reports


bulletExecutive Nominating Committee:   A motion was carried without opposition to elect the following CANA officers.







Howard Stoller

Melrose NA

Vice Chair

Holly Katz

Mansion NA


Stephen Winters

Second Ave NA

At Large

Mary Connair

Delaware Area NA

At Large

Andrew Harvey

South Park NA

At Large

Patricia Maxon

Upper Washington NA

At Large

John Paneto

Shaker/Bishop’s Gate NA

At Large

Harold Rubin, Past chair

Center Square NA

At Large

Marggie Skinner

Pine Hills NA




bulletCable:  CANA was updated on the work and concerns of the Common Council Ad Hoc Committee for Cable Access by 8th Ward Councilman John Rosenzweig.  A resolution supporting public access television is presently pending and support of CANA and each individual neighborhood association is requested.   The resolution urges the City and prospective cable television franchisee to enter into a franchise agreement with establishes a PEG access broadcast facility or facilities which are easily assessable for government, education purposes.  It requests that the prospective cable television franchisee provide start up financial assistance in equipping broadcast facilities and provide ongoing support.  A draft resolution was distributed and can be returned to Councilman Rosenzweig at 19 Mohawk Place , Albany , NY 12208 .


bulletCodes:  The Committee met with John Egan in December regarding the State Office Campus Redevelopment and discussed code previsions related to the preservation of housing and neighborhoods in the Campus area.


5)       New Business and Announcements


·         CANA will host a “get acquainted gathering” on February 7, 2007 , at 6 PM at the offices of the National Association of Social Workers (across the street from the Library for new CANA members to meet the Executive Committee and other neighborhood association officers.


·         Correspondence from AFD Fire Investigator Joe Isgro, Jr., AFD’s liaison in charge of neighborhood associations was noted. 


·         It was requested that the chairman arrange to have a presentation about public transportation at an upcoming meeting




6)       Adjournment


The meeting adjourned at 8:50 PM



Submitted by

     Deanna Colfels




January 3, 2007

Meeting Attendees





Lynne Jackson

Albany Bicycle Coalition

223 So Swan St

Daniel VanRiper

Lincoln Park NA

Lt  Ronald Matos


Joe Cunniff

Upper Washington Ave NA

Gene Solan

Pine Hills

126 So. Allen St

Harold Rubin

Center Square

156 Chestnut St

Donald Wardle

United Tenants

125 Dove St

Richard Conti

Common Council Ward 6

Pat Maxon


34 Victor St

John Rosenzweig

Common Council Ward 8

Tom Gebhardt

University at Albany

Howard Stoller


Holly Katz


Helen Klaysen

West End

817 Livingston Ave

Lisa Ternullo

Whitehall Dana


Mary Connail

Delaware Area NA

PO Matthew Montesano


126 Arch St

Thomas Preston


Blake Pavlik

Mansion Hill

69 Trinity Place # 401

Clifton M. Dixon


Theresa Grafflin

John Paneto

Shaker Park

11 Rosemary Drive Ext.

Brian Levine

Hudson Park

92 Willett St

Don O’Dell

Albany BicyclingCoalition

97 Manning Boulevard

Susan Holland

Beverwyck NA/Historic Albany Foundation

Shawn Hamlin



Michael Carrese

Albany Public Library

Mary Beth Fowler

CSA/TOAST Elementary School

Susan Pedo


Ken T. Cioffi

Albany City School District

Academy Park

Terrance White

Albany City School District

Academy Park

Stephen Winters

Second Avenue

227 Second Avenue

Hillary Tommaney

Historic Pastures Community Assoc.

50 Webster St

Colin McKnight


Dominick Colsalaro

Common Council Ward 1

35 Clare Avenue